The prestigious Green Flag award, which acknowledges beautiful open spaces across the UK, has been awarded to Upton Country Park, Poole Park, and Hamworthy Park once again.
This year’s awards mark the eleventh consecutive year that Upton Country Park has received the Green Flag status, the ninth time for Poole Park, and the seventh for Hamworthy. Upton Country Park, which is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year, was also awarded the Green Heritage award for the first time.
The Green Heritage accreditation is given in recognition of achieving a high standard in the management and interpretation of a site with local or national, historical importance. This is only the third time a site in Dorset has achieved such a status, and Upton Country Park is the first in the Borough of Poole to receive this much sought-after award.
Organised by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, on behalf of the Department of Communities and Local Government, the Green Flag Award scheme, which this year was awarded to 1,686 open spaces, assesses each proposed site against eight strict criteria.
These criteria include horticultural standards, cleanliness, community involvement, and maintenance, and are judged by an army of 700 ‘green space experts’ who volunteer their time to visit and evaluate the applicant sites.
Cllr John Rampton, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Environment, Borough of Poole, is delighted with the awards; “We are extremely proud of the wide variety and quality of green, open spaces across Poole, and they are truly deserved of the Green Flag Awards.
“This recognition celebrates the extensive hard work of volunteers and council staff, which ensures that the parks remain places for residents and visitors to enjoy all year round.”
Both Upton Country Park and Poole Park boast more than 100 acres of parkland, as well as salt-water lakes at Poole and woodlands at Upton, while Hamworthy Park, which this year also celebrates its 85th anniversary, offers 27 acres of parkland, a popular outdoor paddling pool, and spectacular views from its stunning beachside location.
All three of the parks benefit from a wealth of support and community involvement from voluntary groups the Friends of Hamworthy Park, the Friends of Poole Park and the Friends of Upton Country Park who help raise funds, as well as a number of other activities helping to improve, protect, and promote the parks.
For more information about the parks and open spaces of Poole, visit www.poole.gov.uk.